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Story Archives: FMC carrying $164K in overdue accounts
|FMC carrying $164K in overdue accounts|
Uncollected and overdue accounts – numbering in the thousands – have Franklin Medical Center administrators and board members looking for ways to either collect or charge off the debts. This matter and others were discussed July 8 at the regular board of commissioner's meeting.
CFO/CEO Robert Boullion told board members some $164,000 in bad debt expenses, accrued by some 10,000 accounts, have been on the books for more than 10 years.
"Most hospitals do not keep receivables on the books for over four or five years," said Boullion.
One possible reason for the pile up of past-due accounts is the lack of long-term administrative oversight.
"Perhaps, it can be contributed to the turn over in administration, the accounts are still here because nobody has really had to time to learn the system well enough to go through them all," Boullion said.
Boullion stated that three to four thousand accounts were sent to the collection agency in January.
"When we can get these accounts either reconciled, or charged off, we'll have a better idea of where we stand financially," said vice-chairman Michael Wright.
Fast track and transition
FMC now has a fast-track triage unit to manage emergency room intakes. Nurse practitioners and physician's assistants will now medically screen all patients entering through the emergency room.
The process was instituted to insure that the most critical patients have immediate medical attention, while also assisting the emergency room physicians to attend patients in the most efficient manner possible. By unanimous vote, the board approved a resolution permitting nurse practitioners and physician's assistants to medically screen ER patients.
In his administrative report, Boullion announced that FMC has been selected as one of seven rural hospitals to receive an IT system grant to upgrade the current technology.
The new conversion of patient medical records and x-rays would link FMC with LSU Medical Center.
"When we complete this transition," said Boullion, "the process will be more efficient for the hospital."
In his financial report, CFO and current CEO Robert Boullion, reported a decrease in admissions from last year.
"May was a weak month," said Boullion, "but we've been able to cut some costs that have in turn, given us a good cash month, which helped."
Project Manager Dwaine Butler updated board members on the progress of the renovations to patient rooms
Plans for the rural health clinics in Wisner and Crowville are still being considered. Butler informed board members that several floor plans were being reviewed for the Crowville clinic. The future of the projects will depend on what provisions the state of Louisiana sets forth for how the money can be allotted.
"Our ultimate goal of a board is to complete those projects," said board chairman Nick Poulos, "but we also have to protect the fiduciary concerns of the hospital at the same time. When the state gets involved, it gets complicated."
Board members present were chairman Nick Poulos, vice-chairman Michael Wright, Paul Price and Dan Warner. Jan Hicks did not attend.